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America Tonight

News/Business. Joie Chen. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Syria 14, Us 12, America 10, Caleb Warner 6, California 6, Fbi 6, Calderon 5, Caleb 5, New York 5, North Dakota 4, Ron Calderon 4, Metadata 3, Steinberg 3, Dianne Feinstein 3, John Siegenthaler 2, Nsa 2, Ronald Calderon 2, Edward Snowden 2, Greenwald 2, Daryle Signberg 2,
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  Al Jazeera America    America Tonight    News/Business. Joie Chen.   
   (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 31, 2013
    9:00 - 10:01pm EDT  

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good evening, everyone. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. and here are the top stories. a big change comes tomorrow for the 47 million americans who rely on food stamps. a rise in benefits that went into effect in 2009 is now expiring. that means a family of four will lose about $36 a month. un says humanitarian crisis in syria remains critical, another 4 million people have been displaced living as ref geej -- refugees inside the country. more than 120,000 people have been killed since the start of the civil war. iraqi prime minister is
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asking the u.s. for more help to fight the growing insurgency in his country. he is requesting military hardware. thousands of iraqis have died in the violence this year. coming up next is "america tonight," i'll have the latest news coming up at 11:00 eastern, 8 pacific time, and you can always get the latest on aljazeera.com. ♪ on "america tonight," falsely accused, our focus on sex crimes on campus turns to the aledged perpetrator. >> did you rape her?
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>> no. >> she says you did. >> i know what she said. >> and unspeakable pain. unbreakable strength. sexual assault survivors deliver a message beyond words. and fallout from an al jazeera exclusive, a california senator kicked off the state's prominent film commission less than 24 hours after our investigative report. good evening, i'm joie chen. we begin with breaking news at that hour. there are major developments in our exclusive investigation into
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one of california's most powerful politicians. he has been officially removed from the film commission after al jazeera exposed how he was exposed in an elaborate undercover sting. josh a lot of developments coming very late in the day. >> the president says he is sick to his stomach, he spent the day reviews this criminal affidavit obtained exclusively. he accepted more than $60,000 in bribes. from undercover fbi agents posing as film executives. he was immediately removed from
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the film commission. and the fbi issued a statement saying they turned over the affidavit for analysis. >> for our viewers we heard so much from you yesterday, all of the background of how you came into this investigation and all of the things you learned from the fbi agent who worked with you on this. you named last night a number of other lawmakers, including the state senate president who was named in this affidavit. >> what is alleged in the affidavit is that ron calderon through the agent agreed to hire the underagent's girlfriend posing as an aspiring actress and he agreed to hire her on his
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staff. to do that we needed approval from steinberg. and he acalled that a special ask. and it is alleged that steinberg approved that special ask. >> we did catch up with ron calderon several weeks ago with california. >> senator steinberg, i was hoping we could ask you a few questions about the calderon investigation. >> go ahead. >> are your -- what are your concerns with the investigation? >> you know what, i actually won't comment on the specifics of the investigation. that's being dealt with in the appropriate way, and, you know, we have a job to do here. we have had an incredibly productive year in california and --
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>> did you ever accept any gifts from senator calderon. >> i'm not commenting on the investigation. >> did you accept any giants tickets? >> i did back a year or so ago. >> who attended? >> i think my son. >> did you meet with oil executives? >> no. >> did you disclose those tickets? >> i did. >> as a gift from the senator. >> yes. >> you didn't take any oil executives? >> i took my son. >> do you think senator calderon should resign if he is indicted. >> i'm not going to comment. let the investigation run its coarse. >> thank you for your time. >> that is the state senate president. and what we were talk about was we were asking him about information contained in the affidavit. ron calderon told the undercover
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fbi agent that he gave those giant tickets as vip seats. signberg says these were $37 seats. he said he took his son, today he said he took somebody with him. according to the affidavit ron calderon told the fbi agents that he arranged with oil executives for a meeting at that game. >> and you got additional documents today? >> uh-huh. we have obtained the documents that refer to how the undercover fbi agent was hired. we're not going to identify the cover of the undercover agent, but it -- basically the senator approached senator calderon approached the senate president, requested that the job be
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created -- >> again, this is a woman who had no reason to be hired. >> right. she was a model. she had no experience. there were no jobs that existed at the time. >> and according to the affidavit the senator knew that. >> yes. and he went to daryle signberg, requested that the job be created. the president confirms that, but says it was no special ask. and he is disgusted with the statements being made. >> there is a real question in the affidavit of how much of what ronald calderon told the senator was happening behind the scenes, and how much were him trying to impress the client. this was matter of routine, and what you also have a ted lou also strongly word statemented where he denied many of the
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claims that ronald calderon had made to the undercover agent. >> in california all of these figures are not only well-known for their current positions, but have been around for a long time, been very influential for a long time. >> senator calderon is part of a political dynasty in california. three brothers have held their grip on power. he was in the state assembly, now he's in the state senate. he was raising money to run for controller, and senate president daryle signberg has been around for quite a while and so have others. but these are some of the more influential players. senator laura is the chairman of the latino caucus, and the affidavit raises allegations about some possible inappropriate transactions involving the latino caucus. >> this affidavit comes less
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than a year after the calderon family essentially became multi-generational. the son of charles calderon, ronald's older bother was elected last year, and here you have this affidavit aledging that his uncle and his other uncle thomas were part of this elaborate scheme. >> and not only lawmakers here, there are some corporate figures, and their relationships are also called into question through the affidavit? >> i -- i -- i don't think the corporations are -- are really mentioned in that sense. it's talking about how they raise money, and the influence -- how thomas calderon who is also -- he was an assemblyman, and -- he was just an assembly man, and he is raising money, he is the chair of this nonprofit, californians for diversity which is named 20
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times throughout the affidavit, it is an alleged slush fund. >> and the family itself has been prolific at legal fund-raising. raising money for their campaigns. much of it comes through insurance companies in part because for decades now the calderon have sat on powerful insurance committees. committees known as juice committees. >> obviously there is much more happening on this story. we'll ask you to continue to follow up and bring us details as they come to you. thank you both for being here tonight. up next we're going to continue our week long focus, sex crimes on campus. how a young man's life was turned upside down from what was ultimately found to be a false allegation. stay tuned.
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♪ tonight in our focus on sex crimes on campus, we turn to the other side of the story. the search for justice, not just for the accuser, but for the accused. right in the thick of all of this, universities, which are
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obligated both morally and legally to protect students. sometimes finding the truth can be difficult, though. there are sometimes false accusations. between 2 and 10% of claims are prove tone be unfoukded. new federal guidelines makes it easier to punish the rape indianapolis, but may also ensnare the innocent. >> reporter: taylor spends most weekends hanging out with his friends in fargo. but a sexual encounter with a young women sent his world spinning out of control. >> well, we met at a party. i don't know we just kind of made eye contact. i liked her. she was a fun person to hang out with. >> after graduating from high school warner headed to the
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university of north dakota. here at the frat house is where caleb then a junior first spent the freshman who caught his eye. >> we were playing beer pong together weened up going into a side room and had sex together. went the exchanged numbers and went on our ways for the night. >> he said they were both keen on hook up again. a few days later, she came to this house off campus that warner shared with roommates. >> she came over to watch a movie. the two guys i lived with at the time, they kind of new that i liked this girl, and that i wanted to be alone with her, so they went to their rooms to study, so we went upstairs and had sex and afterwards we kind of cuddled. >> did she object? >> no. >> was there alcohol involved in
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>> no. >> neither of you were dunking? >> no. >> but caleb said he did not wish to be her boyfriend. soon after she refused to see him again. >> i sent her a text and she sent me a weird text like don't talk to me again. and i was like okay. >> when he returned to campus after the holidays an administrator pulled him out of class. >> i told him the whole story, because i didn't do anything wrong so i didn't think i was going to get in trouble. and when i left i called my mom. >> when he told me what he had been accused of, i felt like somebody hit me in the stomach. >> what did he tell you had hand that night? >> he said some girl accused me of raping her. >> in fact the young woman had filed a sexual assault charge
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with the university? her statement obtained by "america tonight" she said . . . >> did you rape her? >> no. >> she said you did. >> i -- i know what she said. that's just not true at all. i mean we just -- we shared my bed for the night and -- i mean we cuddled. >> and then had sex the next morning. >> yeah, we had sex the next morning. >> two weeks after he was notified warner faced a disciplinary hearing on campus. three faculty and three students would decide his fate. he was allowed to have a lawyer, but the attorney was not permitted to speak. >> were you angry? >> i was angry, yeah. >> did you think she was lying? >> i knew she was lying. everything she said just -- it
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just wasn't true, and it was opposite of -- of what had actually hand. >> in caleb warner's hearing on campus, the standard for guilt was far lower than for a criminal courtroom. it is called prepondence of evidence meaning a student more likely than not is guilty. >> what did you think about this standard? >> it's a judgment call and that -- to be fair to the university if you were sitting over there on your side. you don't want a rapist on your campus, so even if this guy didn't do, you are going to do the safe play and just expel him. >> do you think the deck is stacked against the accused? >> every time. >> but the lower bar for guilt is the norm at nearly all colleges. in 2011, the department of education ruled preponderance of
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the evidence is the right standard. it means that colleges require only a fraction more than 50% belief in guilt. they found him guilty banning him from campus for at least three years. >> i broke down and i was crying. you know, i was just devastated. so we walk out of the door, and i remember i dropped to my knees, and that's when i really lost it just started balling. >> i would not ever want to see my child looking the way that he looked. he alternated between rage and then he would just absolutely collapse down on the floor and just sob and sob and sob. >> they feared he might face even more serious consequences. >> so when i got found guilty at und, all of a sudden in my head
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the thought is if they found me guilty what is to stop a jury from finding me guilty and sending me to jail for 25 years to life. >> were you worried about the stigma? >> horribly. we didn't tell anybody. not even my family. >> the grand forks police department investigated the complaint. but a detective concluded that she had lied to police and that she had sent caleb a text message that indicated that she wanted to have sex with him. >> so they issued an arrest warrant for her. >> the woman left north dakota and never returned. >> caleb warner thought the university would surely let him
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back in. i'll be able to go to und and say hey, look the police are going after her for lying. so she is the one that lied. i should be allowed back in school. >> but the university of north dakota rejected the request finding the police complaint against his accuser would not be substantial new evidence. >> i was upset, i mean it's ridiculous. it's just ridiculous. >> at this point did you get into crusade mode? >> i did. >> so caleb's mother sought to shame the college. hiring a public relations firm and firing off letter to newspapers. the und finally relented 19 months after the university accused caleb warner of rape they vacated his sanction.
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>> how did you feel? >> i was pretty happy. >> would you like to go back to the university of north dakota? >> no. no, i don't think i'll never go back there. >> too painful? >> yeah. i don't like driving by the university. i don't like driving by the campus. >> bad taste? >> very. >> after spending many months and thousands of dollars trying to clear kale caleb's name, his family would like to see this woman arrested. >> if she were ever to come back to north dakota i think she should have to face the charges against her. they weren't major charges, but it would be justice. >> caleb warner has a good job now, headed down a promising new road.
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but he never did get his degree, sidetracked after one night in college lead to a long painful detour that convinced him that due process ends where students set foot on campus. >> chris barry brings us a footnote. caleb warner is still paying off student loans for that degree he never got. we follow up now with an attorney with the foundation for individual rights in education also called fire. and i appreciate you being with us. part of the question really has to do i guess with how universities look at the burden of proof. >> yes, well, thank you for having me, and thank you for devoting an entire week to this very important subject. as you say the crux of the matter is that universities decide guilt by a preponderance of the evidence standard. that means 50.01% certainty that an accused student is
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responsible for the action. >> which is not what it is in the criminal environment. >> exactly. in the criminal environment it's beyond a reasonable doubt which is somewhere up in the 90s, so there is a vast difference between the two, and essentially universities are making decisions on a .01 margin of error. >> it's 50% plus a little bit that we believe? >> yes. >> and is this an established principal of a federal guideline or up to an individual university? >> it was mandated in 2011 by the office for civil rights at the department of education, and they decreed that in sexual assault cases the proper standard was preponderance of the evidence, and the problem is if universities don't follow the director, they stand the possibility of losing federal
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funding. >> so by this you refer to title 9. >> yes. >> and we have reported on title 9 as well. title 9 guarantees them a safe, secure, protected environment by the universities, and from their point of view, universities should lose their funding if they are not protecting women equally. >> absolutely. universities have a very important role to play in this. they need to be educating students. they need to be educating students in particular in what consent means, but protecting students has nothing to do with the standard of proof that you require for a disciplinary hearing. all of the things that the universities do should be proactive, but once the worst has hand, and you have an accused student's reputation on the line, education on the line,
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to say we are going to take that away because we are .1% more certain than not that you are responsible, creates injustice and caleb warner is an excellent example of something like that. >> what is the outcome for something like him? in his case he did not return to school? >> uh-huh. it is difficult for kids when they have this on his record. in caleb's case his record was purged. but google is out there, and so, you know, he is trying to get on with his life, but fire's focus is making sure that there are no more caleb warners out there, and therefore weed advocate tha the universities should be making these decisions by clear
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and convincing evidence. which is somewhere in the 70, 75% certaintive range. but when we are making accusations that somebody raped somebody else, both sides benefit by having certainty in the outcome and the way we can have certainty in the outcome is to say no, it wasn't, you know, the difference of a feather's weight worth of evidence, but it was 20%. we are confident that this person committed this heinous act, and therefore expulsion and everything else that follows is warranted. >> is appropriate to that. we're going to have more of this conversation and all of what we talked about in the course of our series tomorrow night and we're going to ask you to join us then as well. >> looking forward it to. >> all right. on friday we're going to wrap up our special series as we said
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with a special 90-minute program, sex crimes on campus an "america tonight" townhall. please join, antonio mora and me as we open up our discussion to students, parents, police, and universities as well. for a come p -- comprehensive look we invite you to visit our website, aljazeera.com/america tonight. coming up, targeting the muslim community and what we can learn from that. a fault line investigation is coming up next.
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♪ now snapshot of stories making headlines on "america tonight." the international watchdog in syria confirms that syria has destroyed the equipment used to make chemical weapons, meeting its first deadline, the next is
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in two weeks. a bit of inflight freedom, the faa now says it is okay to leave your cell phone and other devices on during your flight. smartphones and tablets includes too. you still are not supposed to make calls or texts near the airport. cory booker has been sworn in. he is the only elected african american currently in the u.s. senate. a growing fury after more allegations growing out of edward snowden's leaked documents. this time about the nsa tapping world alabalealleys. fault lines correspondent explores what it is like to live under constant surveillance. ♪ >> in many ways the nsa
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surveillance story can seem abstract. sure the sgovment collecting information, but what does that really mean for someone's life? to fine out we went to meet a group of people who definitely know they are being spied on. >> after 9/11 it wasn't just the nsa that increased surveillance. here at the city level in new york, the nypd brought in to senior officials from the cia to help spy on its own citizens. the program is targeting one community, muslims. secret documents show that the nypd is conducting surveillance of entire muslim neighborhoods. >> they visited book stores, cafes, hookah joints, of course mosques. >> reporter: and record conversations using hidden
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microphones, collect the names and phone numbers of con gragaits. >> how were they reacting to foreign events abroad, the egyptian revolution or the cartoons about the profit mohammed, what were they saying in the surmonth. >> to justify this, they labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations. >> the nypd wasn't necessarily pursuing concrete leads, they were really engaged in a mapping effort. >> can i get a swarma. everyone is a target. including this restaurant. it was listed in a secret nypd
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document as a location of concern along with other restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in the area. all of them, the nypd says are owned by arabs or muslims. >> it's actually funny because some of the nypd who were doing the spying, their supervise ors kept noticing that they were going to the same restaurants, and they finally asked them is that a real hot spot and it just turned out the cops liked the food a lot. i can't blame them. the nypd's policy when it comes to muslims seems to be collect it out. >> no detail of muslim public life in new york was too insignificant or too trivial to record and not just in a police report, secretly, but to sort of retain it and possibly to share it. >> i would love to think that
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i'm being paranoid and this is all in my head, but i certainly know that i'm being surveilled. they have told me i'm being surveilled. it's not a question for me. it's a reality. >> he was a student at brooklyn college and the president of the muslim student group there when it was being monitored by the nypd. the police kept tabs on the group's website and did the same at other colleges and universities in new york and beyond. they also had informants infiltrate the groups. >> i would drive myself crazy if i had to ask myself is this coming from every person i met. i'm just going to tell myself i don't do or say anything wrong. and i have two friends sitting over there, that i trust
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completely. and it sounds so paranoid, and i would love to think i'm being paranoid, but that's the reality. >> does it make you paranoid about every phone call or email or text. >> i read a text and i'll just assume there's a third-party reading it. sometimes we'll throw in a joke like hah hah hah nypd or something like that. or if something political is touched on, we throw it just to clarify for the third-party listening. >> this is the bay ridge neighborhood in new york city. you can see a lot of the signs are in arabic, and it's also a real hot spot for nypd surveillance. it seems like no institution is off-limits to the nypt. police department documents show they planned to place an inspectant on the board of the
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arab/american board in new york. is there any reason to believe something here could be associated with terrorism? >> if helping kids with their homework, i guess so. i don't think there's any reason to think that. so this is one of the secret documents that was leaked to the associated press. and what it does is it talks about multiple mosques and organizations and people that we know so that are mentioned in here and when i first saw it -- it says -- it is looking at confidential informant profiles and looking for the right people to infiltrate particular centers or organizations, so here we're number 2. >> there you are, huh? >> that's what is so like hurtful about this nypd spying
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program is that our own community mistrusts each other. mistrusting law enforcement is one thing, but the fact that the fabric of our community is broken, is what hurts me the most. and you come to america because it's about liberty and justice and freedom, and our community doesn't believe that applies to them. >> i remember we had political discussions in class that i really didn't want to get involved in. i remember i had one professor that said if he was in iraq he would probably be on the other side and i remember just looking at him thinking i would be in jail if i thought that. >> they are like we're muslim that has nothing to do with us. you are american it does have something to do with you. that breaks my heart when people say that. that it doesn't apply to us. of course it does, but it's hard for me to prove that based on the real life experiences of people in our community and based on black and white documents. how can i stand in front of my
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community and say no, you are not targeted, you are not victims. they are. they absolutely are. >> there is a constant level of anxiety that can be very hazardous to one's health. there is also self stigma, you begin to internalize the stigma, and sometimes begin to think negatively about yourself or perhaps your community. >> the nypd declined our request for an interview. police commissioner ray kelly and mayor michael bloomberg stood behind their programs insisting they don't target anyone without a lead. the polls showed that the majority of new yorkers think the nypd treatment of muslims has been appropriate. >> i think the not me effect ties in to whether or not they leave a search or surveillance is reasonable, and whether or not you believe invasions of pry
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sassy are reasonable, really depends on the extent to which you believe certain groups deserve to have their rights violated. that is not me. >> if this can happen to muslims, it is go to bet broader. >> it is always acceptable when the costs are being bourn by season else. now there is some awareness socially that the nsa is doing this on a universal all-encompassing scale, like everyone is a subject of that surveillance. >> the nypd admitted in court that its surveillance of muslims never generated a leader triggered a terrorism investigation. >> following up now on his report, josh rushing joins us from fault lines. josh something that comes to mind that what we now know about
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spying comes from the leaks of edward snowden. >> yeah, glenn greenwald lives in rio and has all of snowden's documents. snowden is on a one-year temporary asylum and not giving any interviews. and greenwald has become the spokesperson for this. so we went down to rio. we were fortunate enough to spend a couple of days with him. and just kind of see what his life is like right now. but it's really fascinating, because when history looks back on this, greenwald will be a big part of this. >> also in your show your are going to talk about the impact on washington and what you found here in this environment was a bit of a surprise. >> it is a surprise. it cuts across the partisan
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lines so broodly. we interviewed allen west the former tea party representative and allen grayson who is a representative from florida in the house right now, and their views were very, very similar on this. that it's unconstitutional it lax oversight from congress, not enough is being done about it. the only people who seem to support it are people who have spent long careers inside the beltway. like lindsey graham, or dianne feinstein. she spent her time defending the program. and then asked do you have any questions, and she would say no, no, questions. >> but you had questions for general alexander. >> of course. they are going to give us a sit-down interview, so we'll caught him in different places.
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and we caught him so many times that he spoke arabic to us, because of the al jazeera people. but he does give us some substantive answers, and those are in the piece. >> something that is left out of the final show is your exposing yourself to this sort of surveillance. tell me what you did. >> i went up to mit, there is a professor who if you give them your email and pass word it goes through and analyzes all of your relationships over years and years. i have had an email accounted with gmail and it looked at hundreds and thousands of emails that i have had. and it has a time line at the bottom and the biggest relationships are bigger dots -- and you can see them change over time like a word
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cloud. but just with the metadata. no context of the emails. but he was able to highlight a producer on fault lineses, and that includes everyone that worked on fault lines. so if you were a government and wanted to go after political enemies and who they are associating with, it is very effective if you only get the metadata. in fact metadata can be more telling than the content of the call. who you are calling is more important than the content that says i would like an appointment on monday. >> yeah, and that is sort of the argument that has been made, we're only looking at the metadata, but really it can be as you say very telling about what somebody's communications are. do you see moving forward on this as a result of your
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investigation into this, does it help us to understand what is happening in the environment now? >> well, i think there is going to be action moving forward on this. the biggest supporter as we were saying before was dianne feinstein, but when it came out that chancellor merkel's personal phone was hacked, even dianne feinstein said we need an full review of this. but she is on the committee that is providing the oversight. >> josh thanks very much. you can watch the rest of josh's story, collect it all, on fault lines friday, 10:30 pm eastern right here on al jazeera america. coming up, yet another threat in syria, positive cases of polio. can the country handle the outbreak? ♪ (vo) tomorrow night ...
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>> does the nsa collect any type of data on millions of americans? >> no sir. (vo) fault lines investigates what it's like to live under the watchful eye of the nsa. >> they know everything that you do, everything that you think, everything that you fear. they know how to manipulate and control you. the state has all the power. >> we have done more to destroy our way of life than the terrorists could ever have done. determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was actually abusive, because if it doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that
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are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of those that exist as well.
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in most of the world polio is a disease of the past eradicated decades ago, but this highly infection and devastating disease has appeared quite suddenly in a place already suffering, syria. the world health organization counts ten confirmed cases. most of the victims are under the age of two. and part of the reason is they are under vaccinated. officials have warned that there was a risk, unsanitary conditions faced by refugees are
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likely to spread the disease. syria joins only three countries battling polio. the president of the syrian/american medical society joins us tonight. i understand you have been quite recently in country. we appreciate you coming back and talking with us. how significant is this outbreak? >> it is very significant, but it is the tip of the iceberg, and i just recently came from the city of [ inaudible ] and the situation in syria is disastrous. this is my eighth trip to the region, and every time the humanitarian situation is worse than the time before. this is destruction of the public health care system. people are suffering, especially children and woman. doctors are leaving syria because they don't have support
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system. they are being targeted -- >> and when it comes to something like polio in this place, that's a particular medical resource that could be available to them if there were these kinds of things that you're talking about, the support for the distribution of vaccine? >> definitely. polio, this is the first -- the cases of polio that we have had in syria for the past 14 years. and now we have the resurgence of polio because there is lack of vacation. vacation is available in syria, but the problem that these areas that we had the reported cases there is a blockade by the government to these areas. that's why vacation is not being done for hundreds of thousands of children who are in need of vacation. >> i understand this is northeast to the iraqi border. >> yes, there is around a city which is on the river, so it
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borders iraq and turkey, and unfortunately polio does not respect borders, so with the 22 or 30 cases that are reported of children, there's at least 3,000 children who had polio right now but don't have symptoms and what i'm afraid of that because we have 4,000 syrian refugees every day leaving syria, that polio will not be confined only to that area. >> you know, in this country in the united states we have not thought about polio in quite sometime, so people may not remember the impact of polio, but understand, and if my memory serves, it moves very quickly once someone is infected. what happened? >> it is highly infection viral disease. it is transmitted by contaminated water and food. it is highly contagious from
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person to person, and unfortunately right now what we're seeing in syria is just the tip of the iceberg. when you have poor sanitation, crowding, and contamination of water resources, you have the perfect ingredients for an infection disease like this, and that's what is happening in syria. >> and to remind people about the effects of polio, it leads to paralysis, loss of limbs -- we remember the old pictures when polio was rampant that people were really lamed by the impact of polio on their bodies. >> yes, it causes flaccid parral sis especially in young children. so in 1% of the children who are affected they will have parral sis for the rest of their life. some of them will die also because of parral sis of the
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chest muscles. >> another tragedigy for the people there. thank you very much doctor. we appreciate your being back with us again. up next on "america tonight" the art of healing. >> putting faces in these images, it puts a person behind a statistic. >> how one woman sheds light on the issue, and help sexual assault survoers coach.
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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♪ finally from us tonight, sample but very powerful idea that empowers survivors of sexual assault. it came from a young woman who heard a story about rape and its pain and decided to help the survivors. >> one night in october of 2011,
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i was out with a friend, and she suddenly blurted out her story of sexual assault. and it wasn't the worst story i had heard or the first story i heard, but something about this one really got to me, and then the next morning i woke up with the idea for project unbreakable. the goal of the project is to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault. to start talking about it. and the second goal is to bring healing to survivors. putting the words on the poster was actually a way of bringing awareness to the issue. i wanted something that would stick with people. putting faces in these images it puts a person behind a statistic. it makes people realize how often it is, and it doesn't matter what class or race or
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reentation or gender that sexual assault occurs all over the map, all over the board. we do include about 25 men in the project, perhaps more. that was actually a powerful thing because men so rarely are able to talk about what happened to them. we really wanted to give a safe space to anyone who has been effected by sexual assault. i think it's a way for people to feel less alone, so if they see these photos and read the posters and realize oh, my gosh, i'm not the only one. the decision to put words from people who weren't just attackers, perhaps friends or family or even police officers or therapists, that was -- that was really fascinating. those words can be as difficult if not more difficult to hear for survivors.
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there's commonly the question of what were you wearing? how much did you have to drink? how many people did you sleep with beforehand? and that -- those things don't help. those things don't matter. i was nervous. i didn't know if anyone would want to participate. it was shocking to me when i was getting hundreds of emails from people wanting to be a part of the project, i had no idea that that would happen. it is an extremely brave decision to be a part of it. i think any kind of trauma that happens to people tends to sit inside someone's stomach and it just kind of festers, and, you know, the point of project unbreakable is letting it out. letting it go. >> grace brown, marking two years of project unbreakable. please don't forget join antonio mora and me on friday for a
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special 90-minute program, sex crimes on campus, an "america tonight" townhall 9:00 pm eastern here on al jazeera. and for a comprehensive look at our series sex crimes on campus, visit our website, aljazeera.com/america tonight. you are also meet our team and get sneak previews of other stories we're working on as well, and join the conversation with us on twitter or on our facebook page. good night, and we'll have more of "america tonight" in our townhall tomorrow. ♪
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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. and here are the top stories. there are reports that israeli par planes have attacked a military target inside of syria. the obama administration told the associated press the attack took place in a port city. the israeli army is not confirming the reports. millions of families needing help to buy food will getting less money from the government starting tomorrow. an increase in food stamp benefits that went into effect four years ago is now expiring. right now the maximum benefit is $668. that will be reduced by